Finally. It seems that the San Antonio Spurs are finally clicking when playing on the road. Last night they traveled to New Jersey to take on the lowly Nets, with Manu Ginobili suited up to play. After starting the season with an abysmal record on the road, the Spurs are inching closer to being above .500 when away from Texas.
Entering into the game the Spurs had won six straight, all without star player Ginobili, who hasn’t played since early January due to a broken hand. Saturday night, however, he returned and played 17 minutes and scored eight points while dishing out four assists. Six Spurs players scored in double figures, including Gary Neal, Tim Duncan (who had his ninth double double of the season), Tony Parker, DeJuan Blair, Daniel Green and Tiago Splitter. The Spurs led by 15 at the half and shot over 50% for the game, limiting the Nets to 40% shooting. The Spurs effectively moved the ball and got all players involved, instead of getting caught up in Ginobili’s return. It was the first time Ginobili had played in almost 40 days, but you have to question whether you want to mess with the Spurs’ mojo they have had going during their long win streak.
The road trip to New Jersey is just the beginning for the 19-9 Spurs; before the All-Star break they are on the road six more times. They fill face opponents such as the Pistons, Raptors, Clippers, Jazz, Trailblazers and Nuggets. It would be impressive to see the Spurs win all six of those games; realistically, however, a victory over the Clippers, Trailblazers and Nuggets would be the most impressive as the Western Conference playoff race tightens.
Earlier this week the All-Star reserves were announced. Missing from those chosen was Tim Duncan, who, for the first time in his career in the NBA, will not play in the All-Star game. He had been chosen 13 times in a row for the game, including 12 in a row for being a starter (one start shy of the record set by Bob Cousey). Marc Gasol got the vote over Tim Duncan? Really?
Duncan is averaging 13.9 points per game with 8+ rebounds. Those stats are in less than 28 minutes per game. During the Spurs’ win streak, Duncan has been more explosive, scoring more points and adding more power to his game. Marc Gasol is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game in almost 11-12 more minutes than Duncan. Of course, Timmy D could still be picked an injury reserve, but it is sad and disheartening to see such an impressive run come to an end for several first time players. Instead of looking at consistency and solid numbers, it appears the coaches are more focused on the glitz and glamour of the weekend, and want the younger stars to participate instead.
Does anyone else think that Duncan deserved to be selected as a reserve? Share your thoughts!
About the Author
Written by Chelsea Curto
Chelsea is a college senior who is majoring in art history and minoring in communications. She plans to become a sports broadcaster. She is a former Division 1 athlete who rowed for a year and a half in college. She enjoys any and all sports, especially basketball. She plans to pursue her education in communication at the graduate school level. Follow her on Twitter: @chelseacurto